Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,
is a United
States federal law that gives the Food and Drug Administration
the power to regulate the tobacco
One element of the law imposes new warnings
and labels on tobacco packaging, with the goal of discouraging
minors and young adults from smoking.
Passage of the law was supported by the American Cancer Society
, whose CEO
noted in a press release that "[t]his bill forces Big Tobacco to
disclose the poisons in its products and has the power to finally
break the dangerous chain of addiction for generations to come."
The ACS press release also noted that the legislation would
"require cigarette companies to disclose all ingredients used in
cigarettes and to stop using words like 'light' and 'ultra-light'
to give the impression that some tobacco products have a lower
health risk." The legislation also garnered support from the
, whose CEO noted that the bill "provides a
tremendous opportunity to finally hold tobacco companies
accountable and restrict efforts to addict more children and
The law was criticized by some as ineffectual, with community health
sciences professor Michael
Siegel stating that it "creates the appearance of regulation
without allowing actual regulation." Critics argue that without the
authority to eliminate nicotine completely, the reduction of
nicotine levels in cigarettes may result in compensation by
existing smokers, increasing their cigarette smoke inhalation to
consume a level of nicotine which will satisfy their cravings. In
addition, marketing restrictions enacted by the bill make it more
difficult to promote safer smokeless alternatives to cigarettes
(though there is no consensus that smokeless tobacco products are,
in fact, safer). The restrictions have been disputed on the grounds
of free speech
, with various claims that
the legislation violates the First
Amendment to the United States Constitution
The bill bans flavored cigarettes, including cloves
, cinnamon, candy, and fruit flavors, with a
special exception for menthol
. Because the exception helps the largest maker of
menthols, Phillip Morris
eliminates potential competition, the bill has been nicknamed the
Marlboro Monopoly act of 2009
. Philip Morris
strongly supports FDA regulation. The exemption was reportedly
influenced by the Congressional Black Caucus
Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee provisioned under
the bill is to submit a recommendation on menthol cigarettes to the
States Secretary of Health and Human Services
no later than one
year after its establishment.
21, 2000, the Supreme Court in FDA v.
Williamson Tobacco Corp.
held that based on their reading of
the Federal Food,
Drug, and Cosmetic Act
, particularly when considering
"Congress’ subsequent tobacco-specific legislation," that Congress
had not given the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products as
customarily marketed. Thus the Family Smoking Prevention and
Tobacco Control Act was introduced to respond to the decision,
which had held that the Clinton administration's FDA had
"overreached" its Congressionally delegated authority, thus giving
the FDA the authority the Court determined it had lacked.
The bill passed the United States House of
on April 2, 2009, by a vote of 298 to 112. The
House bill had 178 cosponsors and the companion legislation in the
Senate, had 57 cosponsors. On May 20, 2009, the Senate Committee on
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
ordered the Senate bill
to be reported favorably with amendments on a 15-8 vote.
Hill newspaper The
Hill reported on May 25, 2009, that Senate Majority Leader Reid plans to move on the bill during the month
of June 2009; however it noted that Senators Burr and Hagan of
proposing alternative legislation.
On June 2, the Senate voted 84-11 to proceed to consideration of
the House bill. On June 8, the Senate voted 61-30 on cloture on
amendments to the Senate bill. The "Senate bill requires that
cigarette health warning labels be large enough to make up 50
percent of the front and rear panels of the package and that the
word “warning” appear in capital letters."On June 11, the Senate
passed H.R. 1256 by a vote of 79-17, with 3 Senators not voting.
Passage of the legislation came a week later than was originally
scheduled. The Senate's version of the bill was approved by the
House on June 12, by a bipartisan vote of 307-97.
Media accounts noted that the opposition in the Senate was largely
from tobacco farming states, particularly Kentucky, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Georgia, with the only Democrat in opposition
being Kay Hagan
, from North Carolina.
Notable exceptions were Virginia Senators Jim
and Mark Warner
the measure, despite the state's connection to the tobacco
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was signed
into law on June 22, 2009 by President Barack Obama
- Creates a tobacco control center within the FDA and gives the
FDA authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of
- Requires tobacco companies and importers to reveal all product
ingredients and seek FDA approval for any new tobacco
- Allows the FDA to change tobacco product content.
- The ban on flavoring applies to any product meeting the
definition of a "cigarette" according to section 3(1) of the
Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. This includes any
tobacco that comes rolled such as cigarettes and cigars, and added
to this definition in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco
Control Act is any tobacco with the purpose to be rolled such as
- Calls for new rules to prevent sales except through direct,
face-to-face exchanges between a retailer and a consumer.
- Limits advertising that could attract young smokers.
- Requires cigarette warning labels to cover 50 percent of the
front and rear of each pack, with the word warning in
- Requires FDA approval for the use of expressions such as
"light, "mild" or "low" that give the impression that a particular
tobacco product poses less of a health risk.
The bill makes no provisions that ban the import of the banned
items for personal consumption, only for "sale or
- ACS :: House Votes to Grant FDA Control of Tobacco
- No smoking: Historic vote could bring new limits -
- FDA V. BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO
- TheHill.com - Tobacco bill clears Senate by wide
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 187
- Senate vote a sea change for tobacco - David Rogers
- U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home >
Votes > Roll Call Vote: 207
- Senate Clears Tobacco Regulation Bill - Roll Call
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 335
- CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time
Blog Archive - Senate passes bill increasing FDA power to regulate